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Bowie, genius or not...
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keith a
9435 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 11:02
Never even heard of him.
elegant chaos
elegant chaos
2392 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 11:13
Overrated? Genius?

Genius.

Greater or lesser than the sum of his phases: Newley phase, Dylan phase, glam phase, Soul phase, Berlin phase, mainstream 80's, etc.,

What are you talking about?

Only as good as his collaborators: Eno, Visconti, Slick, Ronson, Alomar, Soupy Sales' kids, etc.,

What are you talking about?

Just an opportunist constantly jumping trends or a leader setting trends?

Definitely a pioneer.

a pop star in rock star clothing?

Surely some mistake.

Discuss.

Yes of couse Bowie is a genius. Jim Bowie. He invented the Bowie knife you know.
Vybik Jon
Vybik Jon
7701 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 11:16
He was one of those classic British novelty acts. He had a hit with The Laughing Gnome.
stray
stray
2057 posts

Edited Jul 28, 2010, 11:25
Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 11:22
zphage wrote:
Non conventional song forms, not guitar centric, and because of technology she has been able to approach sound purely for textures and rhythms: tonal/atonal/rhythmic/arrhythmic


ooh, thats an interesting point, is it because of technology though ? (sorry, my masters degree is wrapped up entirely in this issue, as in, what are the real aesthetics and freedoms inherent within the digital medium). When I listen back to the ground breaking pre digital composers, and compare them with the early tech experimentations of Stockhausen, Cage etc, and then think about the more out there compositional experimentations of groups like The Dream Syndicate I end up going...um...... Wha ?

It's a tricky thing, but to simplify, I hear nothing in Bjorks work, along the terms you define as regard her approach, that could actually be uniquely attributed to technology (cos, lets be honest, the bleeding edge of musical experimentation has been dealing in the same currency that she is for a bloody long time). Compositionally speaking that is, in terms of an attitude to 'sound' as you use the word.

Also to simplify, I remember once seeing her work live with a large ensemble of what could be described as 'world musicians' and there was no technology there. But, what I do see from that is that maybe (not a big maybe either) that the initial ideas that led to her bringing those musicians together came from small scale experiments with technology that allowed (and arguably encouraged) her to chuck many sound sources/textures at a wall to see what stuck (together, compositionally). Is that what digital media allows, and therefore creates ? My gut tells me er.., cos we don't actually have interfaces flexible enough to allow the freedom that the medium itself theoretically has. That, in fact, we are 'guided' creatively to produce work following certain work flows. Digital music creation is the most liberated and flexible form of digital media, with the others (video, film, image) lagging years behind, but there are still constraints, there are still signposts and paths you're kinda forced to follow. So is all creativity in the digital medium a reactive process ?, cos what with it being a purely symbolic space it sure as hell doesn't need to be philosophically.

I'm not arguing here, I'm just thinking aloud. The idea you raise is a popular one that definitely has some legs but it's one that I'm not entirely comfortable with, and I'm trying to work out why it's bugging me exactly cos yeah... we have a lot more freedom now (er, I think), but.. it's not entirely our expression. um. Anyway, going to try your omega3 reccommendations in the near future (next payment day), thanks.
neighbourofthedrude
neighbourofthedrude
1576 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 11:22
7. Must have bonky eyes.


:o)
keith a
9435 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 11:22
Ah. I know the chap. Wasn't he something of an innovator in the face-painting field?

I understand his father had a face like thunder when he saw what his son had done, which proved to be a perfect match.
Squid Tempest
Squid Tempest
8787 posts

Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 11:28
Is your point that most experimental music forms/styles and compositions created digitally could have been done similarly by analogue means? Or am I misunderstanding?
stray
stray
2057 posts

Edited Jul 28, 2010, 11:45
Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 11:42
Squid Tempest wrote:
Is your point that most experimental music forms/styles and compositions created digitally could have been done similarly by analogue means? Or am I misunderstanding?


Yeah. However, I'm acknowledging the fact that technology (and more importantly, its interfaces in terms of their design and structure) have resulted in there now being an awful lot more people writing music, and a lot more people experimenting with composition, than before we had the current technology.

Those on the cutting edge of experimental electronica, interestingly, are turning towards building their own interfaces, and new types of instruments. Um.. this is a massive subject, and eventually you have to talk about how early digital tools tried to match analog sounds, and production methods, not only to make adoption easier for the composers but also to feed the familiarity of the ears of the listener. We don't need that anymore, and easily its in the field of digital music that people are running from those approaches and mindsets the most. However, compositionally, yep, you can listen to even the most out there digital works and trace a line back to the jazz and classical experimentation of the early 20th century.

Digital has no theoretical constraints, but we have to impose constraints in order to abstract enough to create an understandable movement within ourselves that will allow us to produce work. But we aren't setting those limits/constraints, our interfaces are. Plus the 'common sense' accepted rules of music still apply, and therefore influence the interfaces built, even through free jazz and noise (though many ears would disagree with that). Change your tools, change your sound, but you also change the way you compose yeah ? It's always reactive, it's never purely..er... 'us'.
IanB
IanB
6761 posts

Edited Jul 28, 2010, 12:10
Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 11:45
"My gut tells me er.., cos we don't actually have interfaces flexible enough to allow the freedom that the medium itself theoretically has. That, in fact, we are 'guided' creatively to produce work following certain work flows."

This is really interesting.

Talking aloud without giving it a huge amount of thought I would say that that even when working with improvised music or live music of any kind that is going to be later worked on in ProTools, or whatever, then you start to feel some subtle differences in how you think about the fruits of your labours once you get to the editing and mixing stage. Compared with analog and working with tape I mean. It has caused a much bigger perceptual leap than say that which was made when we moved from mixing without automation to with.

It strikes me that the graphic representation of the process makes you think more in terms of neatly interchangable musical blocks rather than the ebb and flow of music's "natural" liquid state as a performance in a specific time and space. The archtecture / landscape of a particular moment in time or sequence of moments seems to acquire a rigidity and presents itself as something to be worked with almost in 2D. Which may not be perceptable to the listener after the fact but maybe gets hard wired into the creators' head while they are doing that editing and mixing. In other words we are at times in danger of thinking about music from individual pixel level up rather than the big picture.

If you make your performance and track laying decisions while visually connected to the computer screen I would imagine that this is just exacerbated. Limtless choice within subtly applied tram lines.

On the other hand when you get to mastering stage that visual rendering of the music literally aquires additional dimensions and colours. You start to hear it differently again because you are seeing it differently and your decision making process adapts to that information / representation instead.

So it is maybe not the digitisation that is the issue but the wey the processes are described visually?

I suspect that Bjork probably starts with the big picture firmly in mind and then finds the best way to render that into sound. So presumably the available tools will define so much of the final result but not so much that the imagined work is going to be exponentially different in terms of what it communicates whether she is in a state of the art studio or working with a draw full of kitchen appliances and a cassette recorder. These days not all artists in pop/rock have a vision that way. Perhaps a majority start with a blank screen and a fairly blank mind and simply start to populate both with each "pixel" building block proposing the next from a fairly narrow range of options. Narrow compared with a theoretical creative dream state of entirely free imagining I mean.
stray
stray
2057 posts

Edited Jul 28, 2010, 12:07
Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 11:57
IanB wrote:

It strikes me that the graphic representation of the process makes you think more in terms of neatly interchangable musical blocks rather than the ebb and flow of music's "natural" liquid state as a performance in a specific time and space. The archtecture / landscape of a particular moment in time or sequence of moments seems to acquire a rigidity and presents itself as something to be worked with almost in 2D. Which may not be perceptable to the listener after the fact but maybe gets hard wired into the creators' head while they are doing that editing and mixing.


YES! That's exactly the problem and why I've switched to using Ableton, its take system while far from perfect is much better suited to improvisational work than a time line. Staring at a time line does have an over powering influence on your mindset.

This is even more of an issue in digital film making where Final Cut, Premiere, Vegas etc (anything with a time line) forces you into the mindset of an editor (with all of the rigidity you highlight above) whereas it would definitely be healthier to be thinking like a director or moreso a cinematographer. This is why I've switched most of my video work into Nuke, which gives a node based and shot-centric way of working, the edit sorts itself out later (as in, once your shots are 'done' there is, sort of, only one 'correct' edit). So I just dump my finished shots into Final cut at the end and the edit just sort of emerges. But then, my film making method is more improvisational and not so storyboard, same as the way I write music.

There are things I do to my shots in Nuke that never would have occurred to me at all staring at a time line of my whole composition. Sure, this is a result of reacting to what Nuke allows, but I'm a damn sight more in control and more free to experiment than I would be in a Time line armed only with a virtual pair of scissors and a shed load of layers.

Edit Ha, Um ah.. Basically I'm doing the same thing you describe. Whereas when you get to the production stage it goes back to liquid, all I've done is made the edit liquid again, as it should be.. um.. but again, that's my work flow and the work produced must be mirroring or revealing it to some degree.
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